What is a Feature Factory?

The phrase "feature factory" is commonly used in product management, but it's usually intended as an insult. It implies that the company cares more about creating features than solving customers' issues.

16 days ago   •   4 min read

Merve Cankiz Coruh

The phrase "feature factory" is commonly used in product management, but it's usually intended as an insult. It implies that the company cares more about creating features than solving customers' issues.

A feature factory is a company that focuses on creating features, rather than solving customer problems. Feature factories are usually more concerned with shipping new features than with ensuring those features are actually useful to customers.

This can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort as the company creates features that no one wants or needs. It can also make it difficult for the product to remain focused and coherent, since there may be too many features competing for attention.

A feature factory is often contrasted with a product-driven company, which focuses on solving customer problems first and foremost. Product-driven companies are more likely to succeed in the long run, since they're more likely to create products that people actually want and need.

If you're working for a feature factory, it's important to try to shift the focus to solving customer problems. This may require some changes in the way the company operates, but it will be worth it in the end. Focus on creating value for customers, and the features will follow.

Why Do Companies Become Feature Factories?


It's not something that any organization sets out to be. It happens as a result of other concerns taking precedence over the initiative. The following are some examples:

Product Updates:

In many cases, companies become feature factories because they prioritize product updates over everything else. This is especially true in the software industry, where new features and functionality are released on a regular basis. Customers expect to see frequent updates, so companies feel pressure to deliver them. As a result, the development team spends more time creating new features than addressing customer feedback or fixing bugs.

Competition:

Another reason companies become feature factories is to keep up with the competition. If a competitor releases a new feature, customers will expect your company to match it. This can create a never-ending cycle of one-upmanship that takes away from the core product and ultimately hurts the business.

Innovation:

In some cases, companies become feature factories because they want to be seen as innovative. They add new features for the sake of being different, even if those features don't address a specific customer need. This can make the product bloated and difficult to use, which ultimately turns customers away.

Consequences of being a feature factory

There are  a few key consequences of being a feature factory. These include:

1. Wasted time and effort:

The biggest consequence of being a feature factory is that it wastes time and effort. The company spends more time creating new features than addressing customer feedback or fixing bugs. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort as the company creates features that no one wants or needs.

2. Difficulty remaining focused:

Another consequence of being a feature factory is that it can make it difficult for the product to remain focused and coherent. There may be too many features competing for attention, which makes it hard to keep the product focused on a specific goal.

3. Poor customer satisfaction:

Another key consequence of being a feature factory is poor customer satisfaction. Customers are often frustrated with products that are overloaded with features they don't need or want. This can lead to customers switching to  a competitor's product that is simpler and easier to use.

How to Avoid Becoming a Feature Factory?

There are a few things you can do  to avoid becoming a feature factory. These include:

1. Shift the focus to solving customer problems:

If you're working for a feature factory, it's important to try to shift the focus to solving customer problems. This may require some changes in the way the company operates, but it will be worth it in the end. Focus on creating value for customers, and the features will follow.

2. Prioritize customer feedback:

Make sure to prioritize customer feedback over new features. This will help ensure that you're addressing the needs of your customers and not just adding new features for the sake of it.

3. Keep the product focused:

It's also important to keep the product focused on a specific goal. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Keep the product simple and easy to use, and focus on solving a specific problem for a specific group of people.

4. Say no to feature requests:

Finally, don't be afraid to say no to feature requests . Just because someone asks for a new feature doesn't mean you need to add it. Evaluate each request on its own merits and only add the features that will truly benefit your customers.

The above are some ways in which you can avoid becoming a feature factory. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your product remains focused and coherent, and that you're creating value for your customers.

The Bottom Line

Feature factories are companies that churn out new features without considering whether they actually improve the user experience or solve any real problems. The reason why so many companies become feature factories is because it's often easier and faster to add new features than to fix existing ones. As a result, the company's products become bloated and difficult to use.

Feature factories can also be detrimental to a company's bottom line. They can lead to decreased customer satisfaction, which leads to less revenue and market share. There are several ways for companies to avoid becoming feature factories. The most important is to focus on solving real user problems instead of just adding more bells and whistles. Companies should also take the time to properly test new features before releasing them into the wild. And finally, management needs to set the right example by emphasizing quality over quantity when it comes to product development.


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